Hand in 15th April 2018
Judged 24th April 2018
Judge – Trevor Richardson
What Is Backlighting or Backlight Photography?
Backlighting, defined in the simplest of ways, refers to the main source of light behind the photography subject. In other words, the main light (or one of the main lights) is positioned in such a way that it faces the camera. The subject is then placed in the middle of the light and the camera. This creates a certain glow effect at the edges or at the back of the subject. Backlighting is normally created with the help of artificial lights, although there are also techniques for achieving effective backlighting by taking advantage of the natural light available.
Backlighting Tips & Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks that you can use to elevate your backlighting style.
- Make sure that you (as photographer) are facing the sun, and your subject is positioned with his or her back to the sun. He or she should be facing you. Any other angle will not give you a great backlight at all. This is the most basic of the tips and tricks. If you do not follow this, then you better not aim for backlighting.
- For first time backlight takers, look for a place or location where the light source is hidden – partially or fully – once you look into your camera. Be sure, however, that your subject is 100% in the frame. This will help you tone down the light that’s expected to come into the scene. Use a tree, a cloud, or a building, or any similar object, to block the light source or the sun. You’ll love the sun rays this technique will create.
- It is important to familiarize the spot meter before shooting backlit subjects. Proper spot metering will help make sure that your subject is properly exposed. The spot meter is normally used to make dark areas achieve the right exposure (for example: the darkest part of the face).
- Shoot and position your subject against a dark colored background. This will make your subject stand out. Additionally, the glow or rim lighting created by the backlight will be more emphasized.
- To prevent wrong exposure, use the manual mode in your camera. This way, you will be able to properly control exposure.
- You need some light on your subject’s face, so before you position yourself and your camera, make sure that there is nothing behind you that blocks whatever light that comes from that area. There shouldn’t be any trees, buildings, or any other structure behind you.
- In cases where the sun is not “available”, you can still shoot with backlighting. However, you will need to use your flash, though, and create your own backlight. What you can do is have someone stand behind your subject, slightly to the side, and then ask this person to use the flash and point it to the back of your subject.
- Last but not the least; do not be afraid to try out your lenses’ focal lengths. Experiment and be as creative as you can be